Your Questions Answered
At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question. And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here. So without further ado:
Here’s all you need to know about budget builders such as DR Horton, Lennar, Ryan homes. They build to a budget, and they arrive at that number not by slicing their profits but by choosing very low-end materials.
They make sure the stuff people notice, like countertops, are decent enough. However, everything else, from light switches, light, and plumbing fixtures, and especially cabinetry may have features that signal “high end” like soft-close however they will not stand up well to normal use.
The easiest way to tell the difference is to go to a community that is Ryan, Lennar, DR Horton community that is 10 years old, and compare it to other builders such as David Weekly and West Bay which build to a price point not crazy higher than the budget builders but enough that they can use quality material.
You will notice that the cabinets are quite likely peeling apart (they are plastic laminated of mdf, not painted), cabinet doors flopping around because there wasn’t enough material to grab hold of (nothing wrong with mdf if done well), bathrooms just looking rough.
In addition, they pack everything in absolutely as tight as possible with the bare minimum and inexpensive landscaping. Palm trees are great and “Florida” but they never fill in like an oak tree will, so you have 10-20-year-old communities continually blasted with sunshine which kills most landscaping unless watered heavily as well as heavily oxidizing paint and damaging doors.
They make sense if you are dead set on a new home and they are at the top of your budget. But by and large, you are better served by an older home that’s already gone through these growing